If you’re interested in making sure that you have the strongest Pokémon possible in Pokémon Sword and Shield, you’re going to be doing some EV training. There are many different methods, but in the end, they’re all working towards the same goal.
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If you’re going to be playing Pokémon competitively online, or just want to have the best team to take on Max Raid Battles and other difficult parts of the game, having properly EV-trained Pokémon can make a massive difference.
Keep in mind that this can be a lengthy process. Still, there are some methods and tricks to make sure that you make the most of that time investment.
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What is EV training in Pokémon?
When Pokémon have their stats determined, the two primary factors are IVs (individual values) and EVs (effort values). IVs are set when a Pokémon is acquired, and the only way to improve them is through Hyper Training once you’ve already taken a Pokémon to Level 100.
However, you can manually train up EVs in several different ways. While this has worked a bit differently in previous versions, when it comes to working out how to EV train in Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are several options.
You’ll acquire effort points through EV training in various ways, which will make your Pokémon have a higher maximum stat for HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, or Speed once they’ve reached Level 100. With maximum EV training in a particular stat, you can make the total a full 63 points higher at Level 100 than it would be without EV training.
How does EV training work?
As you acquire effort points through one of the many different kinds of EV training, it will start to build up in the corresponding stat. In total, Pokémon can have only 510 effort points from EV training. There is a way to lower EVs if you have them in places that you don’t want them and would rather focus EV training on a different stat.
You need to have a total of 252 effort points in a particular stat to get the maximum possible effect of your EV training and the full 63-point boost once the Pokémon reaches Level 100. That leaves you room to use EV training to either spread out across stats, or to max two out and drop the remaining six effort points in one of the other stats.
Even Pokémon that don’t participate in battle can still receive effort points if they’re receiving experience, thanks to Exp. Share. So, you’ll need to make sure that only the Pokémon that you are EV training is in your party. If it isn’t, the effort points you earned could be spread amongst other Pokémon as well.
How to check EVs in Pokémon Sword and Shield
If you’ve completed the monumental effort of fully EV training a Pokémon, there’s a reward that you deserve to go and snag. This isn’t going to make a huge in-game difference, but it acknowledges the hard work for that Pokémon.
If you head to Hammerlocke, look for the first house east of Hammerlocke Stadium. Head inside and speak to the woman there. If the Pokémon at the top of your party has a full 510 EVs for max EV training, she will give them an Effort Ribbon.
This is a permanent ribbon on the Pokémon, even if you lower EVs in some way afterwards. It will also give you the option to give that Pokémon a title when sent into battle.
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By selecting a specific Mark or Ribbon and attaching it to the Pokémon, it will give them the applicable title. For the Effort Ribbon, your Pokémon will be dubbed “the Once Well-Trained.”
Now you know all of the best EV training methods in Pokémon Sword and Shield, as well as how to cut EVs, enabling you to craft mighty Pokémon to call into battle.